- - Sunday, July 9, 2017

MODENA, Italy –Steve McQueen famously said: “Life is racing. Everything else is just waiting.”

In June, more than 100 drivers and their crews of the Italian motoring club proved the actor right.

The Modena Cento Ore, an annual road rally race through the Northern Italian “Motor Valley” that lies between the Adriatic Sea and the Mediterranean, ended as per tradition in the Piazza Grande in Modena, Italy, a city on the south side of the Po Valley.

Celebrating its 17th annual race, the Modena Cento Ore brought classic cars including Ferrari, Jaguar, Austin Healy, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo and even an American Ford Shelby Cobra 289 to participate in classic motorsport and tourism as they raced along breath-taking landscapes, the spectators stopping to enjoy great museums, regional food and wines.

The Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy is home to super luxury and racing car builders Lamborghini, Maserati, Ducati and Ferrari.

This year’s competition included 101 crews from 21 countries, representing 19 different motor vehicles all celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Ferrari “Prancing Horse.”

PHOTOS: Classic Italian Supercars – Ferrari, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo, Mercedes Benz

Among the cars competing was a rare example of a Lightweight E-Type, a 250 GT Boana, a Maserati 250S, a very original 308 Gr. 4, a former Monte Carlo Rally Renault Alpine, and an Alfa Romeo 8C Monza, not to mention an impressive number of Ferrari 250 SWB and 275, and the many Porsche 911 Carrera RSR models.

Also participating were the two-seater racing cars hardly ever seen on the roads: Porsche 906, Lola T70 and two Ford GT40 models.

Luxury racing car fans were thrilled to have Lord Irvine Laidlaw of Rothiemay join the rally with his 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO. The 1962 Ferrari, of which only 39 were ever built, is priced at $38.1 million and holds the distinction of being the most valuable car ever sold at auction.

The event, and the cars, pay homage to the essence of man’s (and woman’s) desire to just go faster and the dreams and vision of their creators, particularly Ferruccio Lamborghini, Alfieri Maserati, and Enzo Ferrari.

Lamborghini, after years of successful tractor production, began creating what has become one of the finest luxury cars in the world in 1963; Lamborghini is quoted as having said, “I want to build a car that is better than the Ferrari.”

Enzo Ferrari’s automobile passions started as a very young child, and in 1947 he started the Ferrari legacy, celebrating a 70th anniversary this year.

Alfieri Maserati established his Italian luxury vehicle on Dec. 1, 1914.

Super car and race car fans visiting the area can immerse themselves in Italian super cars while in the Motor Valley.

The rally drivers could be seen visiting the plants where new cars are meticulously constructed by hand, but also the auto museums dedicated to the men who envisioned and built the finest super cars in the world.

Telling the stories of racing are the Museo Ferruccio Lamborghini and the Museo Enzo Ferrari. Not to be missed, there is also the private collection of Umberto Panini whose Motor Museum features Lamborghinis in all their forms, from WWII motorcycles, tractors and the rows of cars — the beautiful, refurbished, highly glossed cars.

For those who enjoy the history and beauty of classic supercars, and the Emilia Romagna area, the Centro Ore is one yearly gathering not to be missed.

Jacquie Kubin is an award-winning travel and food writer and travel editor at Communities Digital News.

• Jacquie Kubin can be reached at jmk58@comcast.net.

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